Changing The Way You Think About Risk


“If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much room”

It’s my favorite quote to sarcastically spout off in pretty much any potentially relevant situation. Usually prefaced with, “you know what I always say…” followed by an eye roll from anyone who has heard me say it a million times. I saw it once on Pinterest and decided it was going to be one of the mottos of my life.

I’m not sure who said it, I actually Googled it to see who I should reference. Apparently the proper wording is “you’re taking up too much space,” and there are a handful of people that supposedly said it. My conclusion: this version of the quote, from this day forward, shall officially be attributed to me!


Now that we got that settled, lets talk about risk.

If I had a dollar for every time someone told me how brave I am to want to work for myself, not go get a “normal job” and risk going after a dream that isn’t guaranteed… I would probably only have like $15. The point is the compliment confuses me every time I hear it. I know the decisions I’ve made in my life are “risky,” I know that there are certainly more secure decisions or paths I could take – but, I’ve never thought of myself as “brave.”

What I realized is that I just have a different perspective on “risk.” To keep with the theme of my favorite quote, I consider it more risky to not live on the edge. Gazing at the view from afar is certainly breath taking and beautiful but what about that feeling you get when you look over the edge? I can’t imagine going through life not knowing what that feels like.

In other words, making the unpredictable choices in life is the safer route for my sanity. I oddly feel happiest when I don’t know how things are going to play out. From my perspective, it would be risking my happiness and fulfillment by taking the “safer” career route.

When you think about it… is any of it really that safe? The world is evolving so rapidly; the jobs we consider safe could easily become obsolete. It’s all risky!

I’m not saying quit your job and throw caution to the wind. I still work a full time job during the day and teach dance at night – but I chose a job that allows me the flexibility to pursue my thing too. I choose not to risk these precious years in my 20s, when I have no one to take care of but me, on not pursuing what I really want in life. I choose the risk of failing, over the risk of never knowing, any day.

The way I see it, safe is the new risky.